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ReserveBar Acquires Minibar Delivery, Creating Formidable E-Commerce Player

November 8, 2021

Two of the leading companies in the beverage alcohol e-commerce category are joining forces, with upscale player ReserveBar set to acquire fellow delivery provider Minibar Delivery for an undisclosed sum. ReserveBar says the acquisition will accelerate the expansion of its retailer network and its planned introduction of on-demand delivery.

“This industry consolidating acquisition firmly establishes ReserveBar as the first spirits e-commerce company that can meet all consumer needs and occasions while accelerating the services and performance we offer to suppliers and retailers,” said ReserveBar chairman Jim Clerkin.

Both ReserveBar and Minibar coordinate delivery through their respective networks of retail partners, but ReserveBar is known for luxury spirits, customization, and gifting, while Minibar Delivery has served the broader market for on-demand delivery, partnering with retailers across 1,000 cities, including both independents as well as chains like 7-Eleven. ReserveBar declined to disclose annual revenues, but told SND its sales are up by 100% this year, after also doubling last year during the pandemic-driven off-premise surge. ReserveBar CEO Lindsay Held emphasized the growth opportunities unlocked via the Minibar deal.

“The companies are complements, and thus the transaction is highly synergistic,” Held told SND, adding that the combined group will “provide an unrivaled set of marketing, data, and technology services for our supplier partners. We also see significant product cross-over synergies in offering Minibar delivery customers the special limited editions and celebrity, craft and newly launched bottles that are showcased on ReserveBar.”

Altogether, ReserveBar and Minibar Delivery expect to have a combined retail footprint of 5,000 locations by the end of next year, “serving virtually all legal drinking age consumers in states that permit shipping and delivery of spirits, wine, champagne, ready-to-drink cocktails, beer, and hard seltzers.” That will include “a combination of 30-minute, 1-hour, same-day and next-day delivery in over 2,000 cities and ground shipping in 44 states,” said Held. Post-acquisition, Lindsey Andrews will continue as CEO of Minibar Delivery, reporting to Held, who will also assume the title of executive chairman of Minibar.

The deal comes amid a period of accelerating consolidation in the e-commerce segment. Most notably, Uber closed its $1.1 billion acquisition of Drizly last month. “Alcohol remains a key driver of demand from consumers in the U.S.,” said Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi in announcing the closing. “On the Uber Eats app searches for alcohol items have spiked by 200% in the last year alone. We can accelerate our shared trajectory by introducing Drizly to Uber consumers and expanding its geographic presence in the years ahead.”

Additionally, Philadelphia-based on-demand delivery startup Gopuff has aggressively expanded into beverage alcohol, acquiring the BevMo retail chain across California, Arizona, and Washington as well as 23-store Kentucky retailer Liquor Barn over the past year. Gopuff’s most recent funding round this summer valued the company at $15 billion.

Meanwhile, Southern Glazer’s took an undisclosed equity stake in ReserveBar earlier this year. The distribution giant noted that ReserveBar is an additional three-tier-compliant platform that expands its digital marketing offerings to suppliers and has become a showcase for “premium, ultra-premium and luxury spirits dedicated to personalization, upscale packaging, and fast and reliable delivery.”

According to Held, further consolidation in the drinks e-commerce space could follow. ReserveBar, he said, “will be in a leadership position to take advantage of the open runway—in light of Uber’s acquisition of Drizly for $1.1 billion—both in terms of potential additional ReserveBar acquisitions, organic growth and generation of shareholder value.”—Daniel Marsteller

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